BUPA Aged Care centres have come under fire from the NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association for a failure to negotiate market competitive pay and and conditions for aged care workers.
The pay rate for a Registered Nurse with seven or more years experience at Bupa Aged Care is $37.19 an hour while other providers offer an hourly rate that exceeds $40.
NSWNMA spokeswoman said that at current there is no legislation that requires a minimum staff-to-client ratio in aged care.
“There’s no legislation that says there needs to be a certain amount of staff members on to care for each client,” she said.
“What this means is that in some cases, not at Bupa Aged Care facilities but elsewhere, we’ve heard of one RN looking after more than 100 clients overnight.
“Our members struggle to provide care to clients in these conditions.”
NSWNMA members at Bupa Aged Care in Armidale and Tamworth recently met and passed a resolution that called on Bupa to make an offer on comparable pay and conditions.
NSWNMA general secretary Brett Holmes said the aged care provider had dragged its feet during negotiations.
“We are seeking a commitment on minimum staffing levels and remuneration that brings Bupa wages in line with those paid across aged care,” he said.
“Our members in Armidale and Tamworth are stressed and burning out because Bupa wants to cap the amount it spends on wages and conditions, while it continues to reap millions of dollars in annual profits.”
A Bupa spokesman said its aged care nurses are highly valued within the business.
“We remain very much involved in good faith negotiations with the unions and are seeking the best outcome for our people,” he said.
“For some time we have been waiting for the union to meet with us, as part of an ongoing conversation that has occurred over the past few months.”
Bupa Aged Care and NSWNMA are expected to negotiate the terms of a new agreement on November 30.